Wood saw

• Vernier calipers (extremely useful for measuring tubing - cheap yet accurate digital ones are widely available).

Add to this one of those folding "Workhorse" benches if your space is limited. These are the type which feature a "vise top", and are sometimes called "mitre benches", with guides for angle cuts.

The hand drill is the only power tool you may need at first. If you take on many projects, you will quickly want to move up to a good quality drill press. By the time you get around to lathes, milling machines and welding gear, you'll probably be able to teach us a few things about workshop techniques!

One readily available tool that will allow an amateur to "fudge" a little or a lot is a Dremel® Moto-Tool. This is a very small handheld cylinder with a rotating shaft that spins about 30,000 rpm. Many cutting wheels, brushes, grinders of various shapes, buffers, etc are available. With a little ingenuity you can do almost anything with it. It's so compact, you can put it away in a drawer for storage.

Please don't rush out with this list in your hand and buy up the shop. Get tools as you need them. Before getting any new tool, ask yourself if you'll use it more than just once or twice, and if not, whether you can manage to do the job some other way with what you already have. When you buy tools, always get the best quality that you can afford. Cheap tools may seem attractive, but if they don't last, or can't do accurate work, they're a waste of time and money. Think laterally too: one of the most useful tools in the workshop can be a diamond-impregnated nail file. These are tremendous for fine work!

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